‘For me, it’s a huge difference in that my son now has great opportunities, as here even the teachers appreciate the kids at school,’ Mrs Matveeva said.
After leaving the city of Omsk in southeast Siberia for Mosman Park four years ago, the professional IT couple and their son, who is in Year 10 at Shenton College, became citizens during Australian Citizenship Day 2013 celebrations that included about 12,400 people from 145 countries in 230 ceremonies nationally.
Mr Matveev said they left Omsk because Russian life wore him and his family down, and his friends in WA were ‘like a beacon’ leading to a place where he could feel safe and live life fully.
Mrs Matveeva’s mother is revisiting soon with her father, reflecting the cultural change.
‘She came here three years ago and it was a shock to her because she still had a Soviet understanding of reality, and she was even asking while walking down the street ‘Why are these people saying hello to me?” she said.